Monthly Archives: August 2015

What is life?

Having been bit by the monster, the cancer monster, the mind races to answer a bunch of questions and find a good or reasonable solution. 

First, I have come to understand and accept that life is not forever, and even more, that my life may be shorter than everybody else’s. How much shorter? No idea, but my feeling is that while it’s possible that I can live to be eighty or more, it is also possible that I could depart any day. Dehydration scared me crazy in February, and while I have learnt a lot and I know how to deal with it, I was surprised by how quick was the onset and how helpless I was, and hadn’t I happened to be with a good friend of mine, I have no idea if I would be writing now. Blockages can also happen and then the intestines can twist around making a wild knot, and so many stupid things that don’t happen to normal people, I can somehow experience them. My guess is that I will live less, but I still have a reasonable amount of time left, enough to be concerned about retirement, for example. 

So, back to my thoughts: what is life? My question is not about the deeper thinking of philosophy, my concern is, how to use my time in the best fashion given that my life can be shorter, it can be significantly shorter. People do weird things: those that parachute from a plane, those that jump from the bungee, and so on. I’m not jumping from a plane. I don’t think I’m missing anything important. I can die without it. The bungee? That’s probably worse. I don’t feel like shaking up my already messy insides. At best, I would throw up. Diving? It is really interesting, but I don’t feel my guts are stable enough to handle something like that, and besides, I wouldn’t be able to go deep if I always need to be close to a toilet. 

I would be happy to run and swim. I wish I could run 5 km again. I don’t think I will run the marathon again, but that’s ok. If I can run 5 or ten km, I will be more than happy. If I were able to run 2 km in eight minutes again, I would be very happy and I would show off. If I were able to swim for an hour in an Olympic pool, I would be happy, and given that two weeks ago, while on vacation, I was able to swim a lap properly, I believe this could happen. 

But life is more than that. Since I was a kid I was seen as someone intelligent. I believe that I was very smart until I was about 12, and then I was also smart but not as when I was a kid. But I like science, engineering, technology and such, and I despise alternate medicine, religion, superstition and some silly tales that are just too silly to be a good tale. 

What can I do? I want to entertain myself programming. I want to learn one or two programming languages. I want to learn some programming techniques. Should I structure my study? Should I just go all out programming whatever I find interesting? There are some awesome courses for free in the Internet! But should I try to dive in the theory? Or is it too much, why bother and better learn the basics? How much time should I invest? Time is a scarce resource. I spend a long time lying around waiting to feel better, I can’t just use it all up to learn an obscure chapter about math. Maybe it would be better if I can use it to learn less and program more. But learning is the only thing that we make ours; that’s the true richness of the soul. There’s nothing we take with us when we pass, I have been into deep anesthesia sleep and I felt it. I was completely gone. Passing must be the same, but worse. But if you buy a private jet, it will definitely stay here when you are gone, and your knowledge and your experience, those are completely yours. So I favor knowledge and richness of the soul, but I also like my toys, I won’t deny it. 

What would I like to do? I would like to learn to play the electric guitar, I would like to learn to program, I would like to understand object oriented programming, I would like to understand more about computer science, I would like to program my micro controllers and achieve fun projects, I would like to make my own fun circuits, I would like to read more science fiction, I would like to play more harmonica (and do it better!) and I would like to build and design cool toys and my furniture at home. 

What do I do with the books about numbers and math that I bought at the beginning of the year? Read them? Keep them until I read them? What books should I get? Theoretical stuff, like the books about numbers, won’t be as much fun. 

I think for now I should keep learning Python, building my circuits, programming them, buy the books that support this activity, read science fiction, and dive deeper into computer science as time becomes available. 

As for activities that waste my time, I already took the steps to lose contact with that Christian girl that published tons of stupidity in Facebook, and I also got rid of that other girl that published against vaccines and about chakras and acupuncture and homeopathy, and some other idiocy. I have no time for that. I will get rid of anything that doesn’t amuse me, entertain me, makes me grow, makes me smile or give me some benefit. 

Meanwhile, I think I will order a couple of books to support my programming, a few components for my circuits and I will try to start running again as soon as I feel fit enough. I have been improving a lot, but I still need my tummy to behave better. 

I hope I can beat cancer, I hope my modified body works reasonably well, I hope I can keep working and I hope I can keep very close my dearest people. 

Now it’s time to stop writing, I gotta go pick up my wife. I don’t know how I was able to find such a beautiful person in this world, she fills up my life with sunshine: warmth and bright light. Add my fun, programming and circuits, and what more could I ask for?

Long recovery

This was to be posted yesterday, Sunday. 

I stopped writing sometime in late October last year, I believe. 
This became so difficult and time consuming that I forgot to write… There’s been good days and I’m alive, but quite uncomfortable. I’m improving and I’m better, but I still complain all the time and sometimes I feel bad like today. 

At the beginning of November I had a blockage. I tried to stay home for two days, but when I was puking, I understood I needed an NG tube. My girlfriend was there and I had her pack quick. I barked items and she did her best to find them and put them in my bag quick. I had called a cab. Those days before Uber… I was staying at my dad’s, and then his wife arrived. I called the cab and told him a nice lie to avoid hurting his cabbie feelings and we left on my dad’s wife’s car. 

I was admitted to the ER. It was night time and since my stoma filled a bag while they were checking on me, the doctors decided I was ok but I should stay for the night just in case. It was a very happy thing to hear. I was left alone by my family and they expected me around noon the next day. At night, they brought me apple juice, the real one, cold, delicious. I drank it and that’s when I started puking. 

I will try to make this short because it’s been so long and I want to get to today, which wasn’t pretty either. I spent about a week without eating nor improving. Then my surgeon took me to X-rays to test my pouch for leaks. The test is awesome: they insert a thin line in your butt, and they pump  contrast in. Then they take picture after picture in different positions, and after that I still had to drink a nasty contrast for whatever else, and all the while I was pooping the butt contrast while dealing with a headache and feeling nasty. Results were good and my surgeon said that he’d go in, find out why I was blocked so bad, fix it and reconnect me to my pouch. It sounded like a great deal to get rid of the bag and go home. 

My doctor found all the intestines tangled, arranged the spaghetti properly and reconnected me. After surgery we waited another week without food, until it was obvious it wasn’t working. I went to another surgery again. My surgeon rejoined my intestine in a better way, preventing what had gone wrong, and then I was out for recovery. This time it worked. I spent a week progressing to solid food and I only left until I proved I could drink the liquid my body needed. 

Recovery was slow, bad and painful. I used to sit under the sun, not wanting to move at all. If I felt ok, I didn’t want to move and feel bad. If I felt bad, I didn’t want to make it worse. My dad would carry breakfast and a night meal up to my room in his house. I ate simple. I craved food. I suffered the pain. I began losing weight. I was so weak that going up the stairs was tough. My weight dropped and dropped and I wasn’t moving much. 

One day I started walking and a few days later I realized driving wasn’t going to be difficult, and that changed my life those days. I was able to drive to my house, to the supermarket, everywhere. Then one weekend my girlfriend and I stayed at my home and then I never went back to my dad’s. 

I was still too weak and had lost 20 pounds. My girlfriend and I were already planning our wedding. We got married at the end of April. 

Two weeks ago we finally flew away to our honeymoon. I have gained almost all my weight back. I’m still weak and I don’t feel awesome, but I am stable. 

Today we went to celebrate her birthday with her family, but I started to feel my hands tingling, got pretty scared and decided to leave. Walking to the car my hands were cramping closed. I kept drinking my electrolytes. I asked my beloved wife to drive. She had never driven my car. She took me home. She did an awesome job. As soon as we were inside I hugged her hard, cried a bit and ran to the bathroom. Then I lied on bed on my right side, allowing gas to leave. I feel much better now. I hate we had to leave the celebration. I’m kind of hungry now and my tummy doesn’t feel healthy or awesome…